Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jesus Christ, the Tree of Life---Devotion and Hymn Based on Luke 6:43-45

“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
(Luke 6:43-45 ESV)


In these verses Jesus speaks about the good person who bears good fruit. But where can we find such a “good person?”

In the end, there is only One who is good, and that is Jesus Christ, the sinless, Son of God---perfect in his human nature and the source of all good in his divine nature.

Apart from a connection to Jesus, no one is truly good. The human race has been infected with original sin inherited from our first parents. This original sin stains even our good deeds with selfishness and impure motives. The self-examination Jesus enjoins in this passage leads us to despair of our own goodness. All of us must stand like the leper outside of God’s holy camp, crying, “Unclean! unclean!”

What, then, must we do? We must seek to be joined to Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. We must hide our sinful nakedness in his robe of perfect righteousness. We must be cleansed by his shed blood. We must be united by faith to the only One who is good. May his blood be our cleansing, his righteousness be our covering, and his Spirit begin our transformation.

O Father, Plant Us in Your Son

To the tune: LASST UNS ERFREUEN (click on A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing 212). Based on Luke 6:43-45. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
O Father, plant us in Your Son,
who for us has redemption won.
Alleluia, alleluia.
For Jesus is a tree of life,
our souls to His would You unite.
Father, hear us, in Your mercy.
We confess our, souls are needy.
Lord, have mercy.

v. 2
Our Lord was hung upon a tree,
from sin and guilt we are released.
Alleluia, alleluia.
So to the cross of Christ we cling,
acknowledge Jesus as our King.
Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

v. 3
Engrafted into Jesus Christ,
we are the branches, He’s the Vine.
Alleluia, alleluia.
O Father, may we bear good fruit,
and live in grace and gratitude.
Father, hear us, in Your mercy.
We confess our, souls are needy.
Lord, have mercy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

SSM – Not Again | The Briefing#more-11694#more-11694#more-11694#more-11694#more-11694

SSM – Not Again The Briefing#more-11694#more-11694#more-11694#more-11694#more-11694

Good argument against honoring same-sex marriage in our public laws.

Lionel Windsor's response to the above article is also quite good, especially these two paragraphs:

"Because I (and I presume you too) believe that God wants Christians to do the right thing for people around us. We should do the right thing for others even when we don’t feel like it. We should do the right thing for others even when we’d much rather just chill out and relax. We should do the right thing for others even when we feel like there’s a lot of other more rewarding things we could be doing with our time and energy. We should do the right thing for others even when we know that other people are going to be upset with us because they don’t agree with our definition of “the right thing”.

And in this case, I agree that a fundamental change in the legal definition of marriage is going to be hurtful for the people around us, especially for future generations of children. So I reckon I should say something about it. Even though I don’t particularly feel like it right now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

God Has Come to Help Us! --- Hymn and Devotion from Luke 7:11-17

[11] Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. [12] As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. [13] And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” [14] Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” [15] And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. [16] Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” [17] And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

(Luke 7:11-17 ESV)


The NIV translation of the people’s words in verse 16 goes like this: “God has come to help his people.” The people spoke better than they knew, for God indeed had come to them in the person of his Son! God has become flesh!

What a scene this was as death collided with the source of life, the One who is called the way, the truth and the life! Something had to give as the seemingly immovable object of death met Jesus the irresistible source of life. Something had to give, and thankfully, it was death.

It is moving to see the heart of God incarnate in this passage! In the NIV it says of the Lord that “his heart went out to her.” In the ESV it says “he had compassion on her.” Nor did his love merely stay in his heart, but it produced action, as he took care of this poor widow, giving his son back to her.

The heart of Jesus has not changed. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). His love and power are still available to us. United to Jesus by faith, we already share in his love and power, for we have already experienced a spiritual resurrection, though we still await the bodily resurrection. As Ephesians 1 says:

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers . . . that you
may know . . . the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,
according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised
him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places . . . .”
More and more may we know and live in the power and love of the resurrected Jesus, who raises the dead by the word of his power!

God Has Come to Help His People

To the tune: HOLY MANNA. Based on Luke 7:11-17. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
God has come to help His people,
praise Him for His pow’r and grace.
He has sent His Son beloved
to a dead and dying race.
Jesus’ deeds of lovingkindness
show to us the Father’s love.
By His power He can raise us
to a fellowship above.

v. 2
Once the Lord came to a widow,
crying for her son who died.
Jesus’ heart with deep compassion,
spoke a word and he did rise.
Who is this who raises dead men,
showing forth His pow’r and love?
This is Jesus, God incarnate,
seek your life in Him above.

v. 3
Jesus’ might that raised a dead man,
works in all believing hearts.
Causes us to seek God’s glory,
cling to Christ, from sin depart.
God has come to help His people
in the person of His Son.
Power, love to His disciples,
through the vict’ry He has won.

Monday, September 19, 2011

He is Worthy! --- A Devotion and Hymn Based on Luke 7:1-10

[7:1] After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. [2] Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. [3] When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. [4] And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, [5] for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” [6] And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. [7] Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. [8] For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” [9] When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” [10] And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

(Luke 7:1-10 ESV)


I don’t know if schools still use overhead projectors. Computer technology has probably progressed beyond their use. But overhead projectors worked by shining a bright light on a wall and then laying a transparency on top of the bright light of the projector to create shadows on the white wall. Once I was in a classroom and the teacher asked us about the color of those shadows on the wall. The entire class answered that the shadows on the wall were black, but she rightly told us that the wall was still white, but only looked black because of the contrast to the bright light.

In a similar way, our lives can look pretty good until they are set in contrast to the Lord Jesus Christ in his dazzling, bright glory. Then in comparison to his glory and worthiness, we see our own sin and unworthiness. His holiness shows forth our sin. His love shows forth our lack of love. His perfect righteousness shows forth our unrighteousness.

The Jews in this passage have a merit theology. They think that the centurion is worthy and deserves the help and grace of God. They think the centurion’s good life and good deeds merit Jesus’ saving help. But true faith sees otherwise. True faith sees the worthiness of Jesus Christ and in the light of his worthiness sees its own unworthiness and desperate need.

By faith the centurion saw the glory of Jesus’ divine authority---the authority that simply had to say the word to vanquish disease and death, before which human beings are ultimately helpless. But by seeing the worthiness of Jesus Christ, true faith sees something else, namely, our own unworthiness. How different was the centurion’s view of himself than the view the Jews had of him. He rightly says, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.”

Have you, by faith, come to see the worthiness of Jesus Christ? If you have, then you will also see your own unworthiness and desperate need for him, who alone can save you from our ultimate enemy, namely, death and the just judgment of God.

Jesus Worthy of All Praise

To the tune: ST. GEORGE’S WINDSOR. Based on Luke 7:1-10. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
Jesus worthy of all praise,
Son of God from endless days.
Holy presence, God with us,
sov’reign Lord most glor-i-ous.
How can men by sin undone
live with Christ the Righteous One?
Come to Him the Lamb of God,
who for sinners shed His blood.

v. 2
Death the wages of our sin,
holds us helpless in its grip.
Sinners destined once to die,
to the judgment then we fly.
Who can give eternal life?
There is only Jesus Christ.
He has vanquished loathsome death,
Spirit gives us by His breath.

v. 3
By the work of Jesus Christ,
we are saved and justified.
God declares us just in Christ,
through His death and perfect life.
Though we struggle still with sin,
take salvation free in Him.
Come to whom the Father sent,
with a heart that’s penitent.

v. 4
None is worthy of our Lord,
who is ceaselessly adored.
All of heaven lifts their praise,
for His just and gracious ways.
We’re unworthy of our Christ,
sinful creatures far from life.
But in grace He brings us near,
saves us from our guilt and fear.

v. 5
Though He’s worthy, and we’re not,
and this universe begot.
Christ in mercy condescends,
comes to heal and bind and mend.
Jesus came to seek the lost,
so He paid the awful cost.
Sheds His blood to bring us home,
ransoms us to be His own.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Simple, But Profound Words from Jesus---A Hymn and Devotion Based on Luke 6:46-49

Luke 6:46-49:

[46] “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? [47] Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: [48] he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. [49] But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”


Jesus’ words are authoritative. This point is made when he says, “Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?” If Jesus is Lord, then his words must carry authority. We are foolish not to listen to God incarnate now raised from the dead and ruler of all the earth.

Jesus’ words are saving. This is the point of Jesus’ illustration. A storm of judgment is coming, but the person who relies on Jesus’ words will survive that storm. Jesus is King, but also Judge. One day he will come again to judge the living and the dead. No one can survive his holy and righteous judgment unless they are hidden in him. But our Judge is also our fortress and rock to protect us against his own just wrath---a wrath that is often likened to a storm in Scripture. Jesus is the rock who was struck at the cross by God’s righteous wrath that we deserved, so that in Him we might receive the Father’s favor and life forever.

Jesus’ words point to himself as Lord and Savior. If Jesus is not who he claimed to be, namely, the Lord and the Christ, then how arrogant he must be! To say that one’s own words are the foundation for the eternal destiny of all people is arrogant beyond belief, if it is not true! To say that all people must come to Him to survive the final judgment is sheer pride, if it is not true. But Jesus points to himself as the eternal Son of God whose words are the very words of God. His words invite us to come to Him as our Lord and Savior from the wrath of God our sin deserves.

O Lay a Sure Foundation

To the tune: AURELIA. Based on Luke 6:46-49. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
O lay a sure foundation
on Jesus Christ the Lord.
One life to you is given,
so build upon His Word.
The Son of God incarnate
in love He came to save.
His words authoritative,
and show to us the way.

v. 2
O hear the words of Jesus,
the resurrected King,
for all will answer to Him:
a final reckoning.
The storm of judgment’s coming,
who will survive that day?
Those hidden safe in Jesus
by grace through faith are saved.

v. 3
By faith you’re joined to Jesus,
you died and rose with Him.
By grace you’ve been forgiven,
so turn away from sin.
The words of Jesus to you
are Spirit and are life.
They keep you near to Jesus,
your Savior, Lord and Christ.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Great Catechist of the Church---Hymn and Devotion Based on Luke 6:37-42

[37] “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; [38] give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

[39] He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? [40] A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. [41] Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? [42] How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.
(Luke 6:37-42 ESV)


Jesus is the great catechist of his church. He is our teacher, who catechizes us in the faith, so that we become like him, for the goal of catechesis or discipleship is to become like Christ. Thus, Jesus says, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”

Of course, in one sense, we will always remain inferior to our teacher, because he is the Lord, who alone has accomplished redemption. But we should strive to be like him in his love and perfect humanity.

Everyone is catechized by someone or something. The world, i.e., unsaved humanity that is far from God and takes pleasure in sin, catechizes its own, teaching people to live by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). The world tries to conform us into its mold (Romans12:2).

How important it is to choose Jesus as our catechist---our teacher, for if we choose the wrong teacher, how disastrous the results! (see v. 39). Actually, though, Jesus chooses us, for our choice of him is the result of his working in our hearts. Nevertheless, Jesus must catechize us in his ways, for by nature we follow the ways of this sinful world in its autonomy, pride, and lusts.

In this section of the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus is catechizing us in his ways. His way is to forgive and give, not to judge and condemn. This forgiving and giving is the sign that the grace of God has taken hold of our hearts.

One of the reasons we find forgiveness and a generous heart to be so difficult is that we tend to minimize our own sin, while magnifying the other person’s sin. Our sin seems like a tiny speck, while the other person’s sin looks like a giant beam. We need to stop minimizing our own sin and realize the greatness of God’s mercy toward us. This will go a long ways as we seek to forgive and give to others in spite of their sinful nature. Since we alone know our own hearts but not the hearts of others, we should also see our sin as much greater than the sin of those around us! But if our sin is greater than the sin of others, so then is the grace and patience the Lord has shown to us, which we should then apply to everyone around us.

O Put On Jesus Christ Your Lord

To the tune: FOREST GREEN. Based on Luke 6:37-42. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
O put on Jesus Christ your Lord,
and take off the old life.
For you are chosen and beloved,
in Him you live and die.
Forgiveness, mercy you’ve received,
a gift of saving grace.
So freely give what you’ve received
to sinners gone astray.

v. 2
O learn from Jesus when He says,
forgive and give away.
For with the measure that you use,
you surely will be paid.
A gen’rous heart is like your Lord,
who gave His life for you.
With grateful hearts in love to Christ,
please Him in all you do.

v. 3
Don’t minimize and don’t forget
the sin in your own life.
We’ve sinned against the Lord Himself,
sin’s heinous in His sight.
By grace we stand through all our days,
by Jesus’ cleansing blood.
With sinners gentle let us be,
for we are not their judge.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jesus' Catechesis --- Devotion and Hymn for Luke 6:27-36

[27] “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. [29] To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. [30] Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. [31] And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

[32] “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. [34] And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. [35] But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. [36] Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

(Luke 6:27-36 ESV)

In this section of Luke’s Gospel Jesus is catechizing his disciples. The Sermon on the Plain (6:17) is directed specifically to his disciples who have received his gospel (6:20). Verses 20-26 explicate the gospel. By faith we who are poor by nature become rich in Jesus Christ. But now in verse 27, faith in Christ and his gospel is to produce love in our hearts, first for God, and then for our neighbor.

But notice that our neighbor, does not exclude our enemies! Jesus commands us to love those who hate us, exclude us, and revile us (6:22). How is this kind of love possible?

Love for our enemies, more than merely love for our family and friends who naturally love us, exhibits the kind of love that God has shown to us in his Son. For it was while we were enemies that God loved us, and sent his Son to die for us. Romans 5:10 teaches us that it was “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.”

Love for our enemies is only possible when we stay close to Christ and his cross. It is only as we remember what God has done for us---we who once were enemies---that we will be able to love our enemies. Verses 1 and 2 emphasize the amazing love that has saved us, which is the basis of our love of others, even those who hate and revile us.

Family likeness is another reason that love is possible for those in Christ. We are children of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Adopted into his family, and through the Spirit’s work within us, we begin to imitate our Father. God is love, and if we are his children, then we will begin to participate in his triune love. Our union with Christ is a participation in his life and love. Verses 3 and 4 emphasize these truths.

The final verse of the hymn addresses an excuse we tend to make because of our fallen and deceitful nature. Somehow we think that the command to love others is negated if others treat us poorly, when in reality, this is often times an opportunity to truly show and exhibit the love of God poured out to his enemies. This kind of love does not come to sinners naturally, therefore, this kind of love especially brings glory to God.

In the final verse of the hymn we also hear an echo of Jesus’ teaching in verses 27 and 28. We love others through our hands, our lips, and our hearts, in other words, our whole being. When in our hearts we pray for our enemies, it is hard to continue to continue in malice toward them, and we are motivated to do them good and bless them with our words.

Blessed Are We in Jesus Christ

To the tune: UNSER HERRSCHER. Based on Luke 6:27-36. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
Blessed are we in Jesus Christ,
rich in grace and justified.
Chosen though our sin deserves
wrath from God, our just desert.
But our Lord our judgment bore,
enemies now friends restored.

v. 2
Love is this beyond compare,
that our sins would Jesus bear.
From the Father was exiled,
on the cross He reconciled.
Dying for His enemies,
earning for us grace and peace.

v. 3
Now we love our enemies,
seeking Christ our Lord to please.
Imitate the Father’s love,
for we dwell with Him above.
Pattern of the cross our love,
help us, Spirit, heav’nly Dove!

v. 4
Christ’s command for us too high,
so on Him we must rely.
We’re the branches, He’s the Vine,
shares with us His rich supply.
Help us, Jesus, Lord, we cry,
fill us with Your love and life.

v. 5
God’s love basis of our own,
kindness to the wicked shows.
Though men treat us with contempt,
we from love are not exempt.
Father, we would love like You,
prayer and speech and what we do.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jesus' Reversal of Human Thinking---A Hymn Based on Luke 6:17-26

17And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

"Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22"Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

24 "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

25"Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

"Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26"Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.


How can it be a bad thing to be rich, to have good food, to laugh, and to be popular? How can it be a blessing to be poor, to be hungry, to mourn, and to be hated? This is what Jesus teaches his disciples in Luke 6:20-26.

This fallen world’s values need to be reversed, and this is what Jesus’ beatitudes and woes do. They help us to regain a true sense of reality from God’s point of view. The beatitudes and woes Jesus teaches us in Luke 6:20-26 are part of a theme in Jesus' teaching known as the great reversal:

  • Because of sin, we are born in Adam and excluded from God’s kingdom. We are born in spiritual poverty. In order to enter into God’s kingdom we must acknowledge our sinful condition and look to Christ. In Christ is every spiritual blessing, for he earned them all for his people. Apart from Christ we remain in abject poverty. United to Christ we become spiritually rich, for we enter the kingdom of God.
  • Because of sin, our appetite is perverted and twisted. We seek the things of this world with great passion, but we do not seek God’s kingdom and righteousness. Until we find and seek righteousness in Christ we starve spiritually. In Christ we are justified by his righteousness, even as we seek to live new kinds of lives.
  • Because of sin, we take pleasure in sin and turn God’s good gifts into idols. We are preoccupied with this world and this world only. The laughter of sinners, however, is short-lived, for it ends at death, and after death comes judgment (heb. 9:27). But the believer in Christ mourns over his own sin and the sin of those around him. He learns to find his joy in Christ. He learns that God’s good gifts need to be used for the glory of the Father and the Son.
  • Because of sin, we care only about the opinion of other human beings. Popularity drives us. But the Spirit shows us that the Father’s opinion is what matters. His favor is everything. Identifying with Jesus will make us unpopular with a world that put him to death and is ruled by the evil one. Sin and grace, judgment and mercy, is an unpopular message in our world. Jesus’ reversal of the world’s values makes us unpopular with the unbelieving world if we let them sink into our hearts. But belonging to our Lord, suffering with him, and the hope of glory make our unpopularity worth it.

Praise Jesus Christ Descended

To the tune: KING’S LYNN. Based on Luke 6:17-26. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
Praise Jesus Christ descended
from heaven down to earth.
The radiance of the Father,
immeasurable His worth.
His healing power showed us
that He was Lord and Christ.
He taught to us His gospel
that gives eternal life.

v. 2
He blessed the poor in spirit,
for they are well supplied.
He blessed those who are hungry,
for they’ll be satisfied.
He blessed those who are weeping,
for they will have true joy.
He blessed those who are hated,
He told them to rejoice.

v. 3
The poor are those dependent,
and look to Jesus Christ.
For He is rich in mercy,
in Him they’re justified.
The hungry grace are seeking,
to know God and His Son.
They long to see their Savior,
bright, shining as the sun.

v. 4
The mourners Jesus blessed too,
for sin has marred His world.
Our sin has spoiled our nature,
brought death, disease to earth.
When people hate, revile you,
because of Christ your Lord,
rejoice that you can suffer,
He’s yours and your reward.

v. 5
How sad the state of people,
who live just for this world.
Who live far from the Father,
for trifles on the earth.
Pray for them to the Father
that they might truly see,
the vanity of this life,
far from the risen King.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Hymn Based on Luke 6:12-16---Is Your Faith Resting on the Message of the Apostles?

It is hard to over estimate the importance of the 12 apostles. Ephesians 2 teaches us that the church, which is called the household of God, is built upon the foundation the apostles laid (Eph. 2:19-21). Revelation 21:14 teaches the same truth when John describes his vision of the new Jerusalem descending from heaven whose walls “had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

The message the apostles brought is the message that Jesus gave them, and it is the message that saves people throughout church history. This gospel message is summed up nicely by Peter in Acts 10:36-43 and by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. This gospel message is unchangeable---an unshakeable foundation for the church for however long it waits for its Lord to return from heaven.

The key question for each of us is this: Have we believed the apostolic message to the saving of our souls? As Christians we should be devoted to the apostles teaching (Acts 2:42), which we find in the New Testament. As Luke will later teach us, it is impossible to reject the apostles and not to reject Jesus Christ also and God the Father, for “the one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16).

Our Lord Went Up to Pray

To the tune: LEONI. Based on Luke 6:12-16. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
Our Lord went up to pray,
in prayer to God all night.
Descended when the new day came
at morning light.
From His disciples chose,
apostles twelve in all,
foundation of His church that rose,
new Israel.

v. 2
The message that they taught,
it saves all who believe.
The pow’r of God when it is brought:
by faith receive.
The person, work of Christ,
was what they did proclaim.
They witnessed Jesus’ sacrifice,
and saw Him raised.

v. 3
The teaching of the twelve:
receive it and confess,
for those who learn and know it well
are ever blessed.
For those who hear the Word
the Lord’s apostles gave,
they hear the voice of Christ their Lord,
and they are saved.

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